March 15, 2008
What's next in the sequence?
David Cronenberg's 1999 film was unknown to me until Amazon tossed it up as a suggestion after I bought some other movie.
After watching it I know why.
I'm sure it must've gone straight to video a week after its release — if it was ever released at all.
A great cast — Willem Dafoe, Ian Holm, Jude Law and Jennifer Jason Leigh — seems to treat the film as a chance to goof off and act badly, 'cause they do.
The plot revolves around a brilliant videogame designer and her beta-testing of her game with volunteers.
But things aren't quite what they seem (they seldom are) and before you know it it's not clear who's real and who's a game character.
By the time the irresistibly bad movie ends, you're not even sure you're real.
Having said that, there's no way I was gonna eject the DVD before I saw how it ended — it's sort of like Ben & Jerry's Crème Brûlée ice cream in that respect.
'Where steel wool comes from' — by Zachary Kanin
Kevin Kelly — Episode 1: Better Than Free
In a remarkable January 31, 2008 essay Kelly provided a roadmap to using the internet as a tool for fun and profit.
What I liked about the piece was his focus on how individuals can generate real cash from virtual space.
- Excerpts from his (free) article:
The internet is a copy machine.
Unlike the mass-produced reproductions of the machine age, these copies are not just cheap, they are free.
Once anything that can be copied is brought into contact with the internet, it will be copied, and those copies never leave.
Yet the previous round of wealth in this economy was built on selling precious copies, so the free flow of copies tends to undermine the established order. If reproductions of our best efforts are free, how can we keep going? To put it simply, how does one make money selling free copies?
When copies are free, you need to sell things which cannot be copied.
In tomorrow's Episode 2 I'll focus on those "things which cannot be copied."
Pulseline EKG Bookshelf: – Better than flash cards when you're studying for your board exam
"Ett eget litet sidoprojekt som jag började med i våras men inte har haft tid att gör klart för än nu. Den är tillverkad av 3 mm plåt, svetsade skarvar och sprutlackerad. Den gröna linjen är fluorescerande färg som lyser i uv ljus."
Mad Magazine named official MSM publication of bookofjoe
How about the following, from George Gene Gustines' February 4, 2008 New York Times article about the magazine?
"Mad, first published in 1952, says that the average age of its readership is 26, a statistic that Mr. Ficarra [Mad's editor] explains this way: 'Median age is 19. Mental age is 9. Mental age of the editorial staff dips down a little lower, around 3.'"
I'm reminded of the "Three Stooges," when Curly said to Moe, explaining his latest outburst, "I'm temperamental."
Moe (just before he has Curly "pick two — any two") replies, "Yeah — 99% temper and 1% mental."
What is it?
Answer here this time tomorrow.
Found Wood Sculpture — by Thomas Beale
The 29-year-old New York artist — who founded the Honey Space gallery in Chelsea and has worked in his own studio in the same building for over a year — is the anti-gallerist, in the very best tradition of Tristan Tzara and friends.
The main event is creating works like those above and below.
Give him a holler: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can tell him I sent you if you like but I wouldn't if I were you.
But that's just me.
Most people find doing the opposite of what I say and do works out really, really well for them.
But "most" isn't "all," is it?
Boy, won't you have everyone fooled when they see you texting away on your little device (above).
Because unbeknownst to all, you'll actually be doing vocab drills for the SAT.
"I said be careful his bowtie is really a camera" is not a just a song lyric from back in the day.
Warren Buckleitner reviewed this nifty item on March 6, 2008 in the New York Times, as follows.
- Text Messaging Again? No, This Time They’re Studying for a Vocabulary Exam
Those seeking further evidence of the relentless pace of electronic miniaturization should note the introduction of Franklin’s Speaking Spelling Bee, a cellphone-size multimedia game. If your eyes start to strain as you as thumb-out words like “sovereign” or “erroneous” on the two-inch screen, a video-out port lets you plug it into your TV.
This $100 device has a 70,000-word vocabulary. After you hear a word, you try to construct it one letter at a time, using a sliding keyboard. You can create your own spelling lists, or play games like Hangman. Elimination-style spelling bees can be simulated for up to six players, by simply passing the device to the next player. For a difficult word, you can request the definition, the origin or have it used in a sentence.
Powered by three AAA batteries, the device includes a headphone jack, adjustable volume control, an SD memory card expansion slot and software upgrades via USB cable. Because it resembles a phone, children can look as if they are sending text to a friend, even though they’re actually working with their vocabulary words for next week’s test.
Bonus — no contract!